In one of the most blatant and bizarre signs that the modern Democratic Party has come completely off the rails, several Senate Democrats filed a brief with the Supreme Court this week, warning the Justices that they’d better rule the way they want them to in an upcoming New York gun law case…or face the possibility that Democrats will pack the court with liberals the next time they have the chance.
Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Richard Durbin (D-IL), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) filed the brief on Monday, all of them co-signing on the idea that the Supreme Court has been suffering from a conservative illness that may need to be healed by a liberal Senate.
“The Supreme Court is not well. And the people know it,” the brief said. “Perhaps the Court can heal itself before the public demands it be ‘restructured in order to reduce the influence of politics.'”
Read: “Restructured to favor the left.”
The Democrats’ threat might ring hollow and embarrassing in different circumstances, but we’re now in an environment where a good many liberals believe, without concrete reasoning, that the current makeup of the Supreme Court is illegitimate. They heap scorn on Neil Gorsuch for taking the seat that was supposedly “stolen” from Merrick Garland, and as for Brett Kavanaugh…well, you know what they think about him. They made it rather clear.
We’re also in an environment where several 2020 Democrats have openly endorsed the possibility of packing the court with liberals if they were to win the presidency. With the filibuster gone for Supreme Court nominations and no constitutional barrier to expanding the number of justices on the court, a blue wave next November could easily allow the president and the Senate to do just that. Of course, if Trump and Mitch McConnell sense that such a plan is in the works, they could take pre-emptive action and pack the court in favor of conservatives.
Now, let’s be clear, none of this is a good idea in either respect. The Supreme Court is already seen as a partisan institution, and we don’t need the Senate to go monkeying around with the numbers to solidify that perception. Nine is a good number, and we don’t see any real justification for moving it up or down. After all, Kavanaugh, Gorsuch, and Chief Justice John Roberts have all sided with the liberals at regular points over the last year, so it’s not as though the conservatives are ruling the court with an iron, Heritage Foundation fist. They are applying the law in accordance with their experience and their views.
If that’s not playing to the Democratic Party’s advantage, then maybe that’s the Democratic Party’s problem.